SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP/CNN) — If COVID-19 wasn’t enough of a damper for most San Francisco Bay Area families, a trip to the gas pump may also have many second guessing a road trip to a Northern California getaway destination.
According to Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey, the average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline inched up less than penny over the past two weeks to $2.25 per gallon.
That’s 56 cents below the average pump price from a year ago. Lundberg said it’s the smallest rise in prices seen since late April. She said crude oil prices have remained stable and there’s an abundant supply of U.S. gasoline to meet the demand.
Nationwide, the highest average price for regular-grade gas is in the San Francisco Bay Area at $3.27 per gallon. The lowest average is in Baton Rouge at $1.79 per gallon.
Meanwhile, the Automobile Association of America has come out with a 2020 summer travel forecast covering July 1 through September 30.
According to AAA, Americans will take over 700 million trips in July, August and September, which is 120 million fewer trips than in 2019.
In an alternate universe where the pandemic never hit, the company said, AAA “would be projecting 857 million trips in the third quarter, a 3.6% increase over last year. By this analysis, the pandemic wiped out nearly 150 million person-trips this summer.”
The overall 14.6% decline in travel is primarily because of reduced air travel.
“The forecast air travel volume of 15.1 million will be 74% below last year’s levels,” the company said in a release.
As to other modes of mass transportation, the AAA forecast projects bus, rail and cruise ship travel “will see a decrease similar to air travel, as the 9.3 million expected travel volume is 86% below the level seen in 2019.”
While the overall numbers are unsurprisingly low, and this is the first dip in travel volume since 2009, the car trip forecast is only down 3%.
“Americans will get out and explore this summer though they’re taking a ‘wait and see approach’ when it comes to booking and are likely to book more long weekend getaways than extended vacations,” said Paula Twidale, AAA’s senior vice president of Travel in the release.
The AAA Summer Travel forecast also includes some data about the destinations their users are searching for this summer, based on searches on their website, TripTik.AAA.com, between March 15 and June 14.
The No. 1 destination is Denver, followed by Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.